public law


Definition of public law

1 : a legislative enactment affecting the public at large
2 : a branch of law concerned with regulating the relations of individuals with the government and the organization and conduct of the government itself — compare private law

Examples of public law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Klobuchar’s path was glitterier: Yale undergrad, University of Chicago law school, a stint in corporate law before two terms as Hennepin County Attorney (the biggest public law office in Minnesota), and then her successful Senate bid. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Personable, Popular, Pragmatic: Is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar the Democrat’s Secret Weapon?," 15 Jan. 2019 Others who have made the switch include a top aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Brendan Dunn, who joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in May as a partner in its public law and policy practice. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Trump draws powerful enemy in trade fight: the Koch brothers," 5 June 2018 The private John Marshall Law School will become part of the University of Illinois at Chicago, creating the city's first public law school. Fox News, "Chicago's John Marshall Law School to merge into UIC," 20 July 2018 Although the promenade would be open to the public during daylight hours every day, it would be privately owned and not subject to public laws, such as an open container policy. Meryl Kornfield,, "Pier 66 proposal back before Fort Lauderdale commission," 19 June 2018 The addition of new groups or countries would thus take place pursuant to a public law, not secret executive fiat. Elizabeth Goitein, Fortune, "Congress Is About to Decide Whether to Give Trump More or Less Power to Expand Wars," 4 June 2018 In her budget plan this year, Napolitano is proposing a 2% reduction, with less money requested for systemwide initiatives on issues such as carbon neutrality, food security and public law service fellowships. Teresa Watanabe,, "UC regents to scrutinize Janet Napolitano's office budget in a step toward stronger oversight," 23 May 2018 But the presence of American soldiers in Niger reignited a debate about the Authorization for Use of Military Force – a public law enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Niger attack leaves 4 US soldiers dead: What to know," 10 May 2018 The school accepts 85% of its applicants, compared to rates below 50% even for most mid-tier public law schools, recently leading the American Bar Association to threaten the school’s accreditation. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Went to a Uniquely Awful Law School," 5 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'public law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of public law

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of public law was in 1531

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More Definitions for public law

public law


Legal Definition of public law

1 : an enactment of a legislature that affects the public at large throughout the entire territory (as a state or nation) which is subject to the jurisdiction of the legislature or within a particular subdivision of its jurisdiction : general law

called also public act, public statute

— compare local law sense 1a
2a : the area of law that deals with the relations of individuals with the state and regulates the organization and conduct of government — compare private law
b : international law regulating the relations among sovereign states or nations as distinguished from private international law

More from Merriam-Webster on public law

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with public law Encyclopedia article about public law

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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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